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2002 Frontline Reports

Churches, members mobilize to help people with disease (December 30, 2001)

Pilot shows plane, shares the Lord (December 23, 2001)

SonBeams provides social outlet, spiritual training (December 16, 2001)

Veterans Day (November 11, 2001)

Chi Alpha chapter reaches the world (September 30, 2001)

Church's Independence Day celebration draws more than 50,000 (September 16, 2001)

A passion for missions (September 9, 2001)

Lifestyle evangelism influences hedonistic neighborhood (August 26, 2001)

Church takes Christ to inner-city needy (August 12, 2001)

Nontraditional services draw worshippers (July 22, 2001)

Dirt floors and horses: Welcome to Cowboy Church (July 13, 2001)

Northland Cathedral members know God's timing is best (June 24, 2001)

Youth, children's outreaches spur church growth (June 17, 2001)

Revival transforms blighted neighborhood (June 10, 2001)

Vacant mall becomes home for growing church plant (May 20, 2001)

Single moms find strength to build strong families (May 13, 2001)

Spiritual freedom is hallmark of three-decade ministry (April 29, 2001)

Modern hangout serves as haven for teens (April 22, 2001)

Merged congregation challenges stereotypes (April 8, 2001)

Hell's Alternative: The Reality (March 25, 2001)

Vietnamese congregation moves forward (March 18, 2001)

Rejoicing in the rubble (February 25, 2001)

Faith Health Clinic treats the whole person (February 18, 2001)

Former prostitute befriends box-dwellers (Feb. 11, 2001)

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach saving lives, helping mothers (January 21, 2001)

Ministering at the Gates of Hell (January 14, 2001)

2000 Frontline Reports

Churches, members mobilize to help people with disease

(December 30, 2001)

Close to half a million children, adolescents and adults are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. Assemblies of God churches and individuals are responding with Christlike compassion, striving to help meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

For the past four years, Lance and Mary Ann Hastings have been Assemblies of God home missionaries to people with HIV/AIDS. Starting out in Puerto Rico and now stationed in the Old Town section of Key West, Fla., their ministry focuses on establishing relationships and acts of service to people with AIDS.

"For the first 13 years of our 27-year marriage, Lance was involved in the homosexual lifestyle," Mary Ann says. "We should have been dead from AIDS before we became Christians. When we were saved, it meant that God had not given us just one new life, but two. How could we say no when He asked us to share life with His other children who were dying without Him?"

The Hastingses volunteer at an AIDS-assistance organization, driving people to medical appointments, helping them buy groceries and pay bills. They have had the opportunity to pray with many people frightened about their illness.

Lance volunteers for a local hospice group, sitting with people who are dying or providing respite for the caregiver. He offers to officiate funerals for those people who don’t have a church or minister. The couple visit the county jail, conducting Bible studies and counseling sessions. They teach on AIDS and issues of homosexuality when opportunities arise.

"The church has a responsibility to be in this type of ministry because Scripture tells us to do justice, but love mercy and walk humbly with our God," Mary Ann says. "Jesus would have been right there healing people with AIDS, just as He was with the forgotten and hurting people of His day."

On the other side of the country, Tara Calverley coordinates a food-distribution program to people who are HIV-positive for Peninsula Christian Center in Redwood City, Calif. The groceries are provided by a nonprofit organization and distributed weekly to up to 15 families. Through the deliveries, believers have built relationships and shared the gospel.

"This is a tangible way of helping people," Calverley says. "Churches should be reaching their community on a daily basis — if they’re not, they’re not fulfilling their function."

The Los Angeles International Church has two programs that help people with HIV/AIDS. The City Help Wellness Center provides emergency housing and the church offers a yearlong live-in program for individuals with HIV who want help in developing a relationship with God.

The discipleship program includes prayer times, chapel, guided personal study and specific teachings for people with life-threatening illnesses such as AIDS.

"In the past it’s been difficult in the church to talk about AIDS because there’s a stigma," says Nancy Urban, associate director of the Wellness Center. "The church needs to get more involved in reaching out in love to all individuals, regardless of their past."

— Katy Attanasi


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